No, Not Every Evangelical/Mormon Argument Goes Like That.
David French at Patheos Press recently wrote a blog post titled, “Every Evangelical/Mormon Argument Goes Something Like This . . .” It is short and I encourage you to read it before you read the rest of my post. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
I’m glad you are back. While there is some truth to what French has to say, and I realize that much of this is sarcasm, I have to say that this is not how every argument goes with a Mormon. Actually, let me address one thing right away. If you find yourself in an argument with a Mormon instead of presenting one, chances are, you’ve already lost the battle. This is not how we teach people to engage anyone in religious discussion and this is not how we do it either. Obviously things can get heated from time to time, but for the most part this is not how our conversations go. With that being said, there are some things I like and do not like about this post. First, the things I dislike.
I believe that this is an unfair characterization of Christians which places us in our worst light and Mormons in their best light. French portrays Christians as committing the straw man fallacy and the Mormon as the innocent victim. To say that every conversation goes
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like this and then to portray a Christian as misrepresenting Mormonism gives Mormons who read French’s post the license to accuse all Christians of misrepresenting Mormonism regardless of how careful the Christian is in that presentation.
The fact of the matter is that many Mormons do understand what Mormonism actually teaches. It is wrong for a Christian to tell a Mormon what he or she believes, but it is appropriate to declare what Mormon actually teaches. Whether or not a Mormon believes what the LDS Church teaches is an entirely different issue, however, it is not helpful for Christians who are actively witnessing to Mormons to be accused of misrepresenting Mormonism when they are not. French’s blog post effectually gives Mormons the permission to do so.
Another French indictment against Christians is that we accuse Mormonism of teaching, “something about planets” to which the Mormon claims to have never heard about. Again, just because a Mormon may not know about this doctrine (or own up to it) does not mean that the Mormon Church does not officially teach it…
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